Automation Vs. Modulation

  • Live Versions: 9
  • Operating System: All

Clip envelopes can be used to automate or modulate mixer and device controls. Since mixer and device controls can potentially be controlled by both types of envelopes at the same time (and also by the Arrangement’s automation envelopes), this is a potential source of confusion. However, modulation envelopes differ from automation envelopes in one important way: Whereas automation envelopes define the value of a control at any given point in time, modulation envelopes can only influence this defined value. This difference allows the two types of envelopes to work together in harmony when controlling the same parameter.

Modulation envelopes for the mixer and devices are hidden by default in the Clip Envelope Control choosers, but can be shown by selecting the Show Modulation option available in the right-click(PC) / CTRL-click(Mac) context menu on controls. Modulation envelopes are always labelled with the word “Modulation” in the name, while automation envelopes are labelled only with the name of the parameter.

Both automation and modulation clip envelopes are available for clips in Session View, while Arrangement View clips only have modulation envelopes.

Automation

Automation is the movement of a control across the Arrangement timeline or Session clip. Automation can be drawn in with the mouse or recorded to clip envelopes. To record automation you need to enable the Automation Arm:

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To record automation in the Session View, hit the Session Record button:

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To record automation in Arrangement view, hit the Global Record button.

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To view and edit automation envelopes in Session View, show the Envelopes Box containing the Device Parameter list by clicking the button labeled E.

Envelope Box.png

Once automation has been added, the parameter appears with a red dot:

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Modulation

Whereas automation envelopes define the value of a control at any given point in time, modulation envelopes can only change them relative to their current setting. You can adjust the modulated parameter at any time and the modulation will adjust itself relative to the current position. As opposed to automation envelopes which can be recorded or drawn, you can only draw modulation envelopes using the mouse.

In order to access Clip Modulation envelopes, it is first necessary to activate it for the desired device parameter. Right click on the device parameter and choose Show Modulation from the context menu.

modulation_context_menu.png

This parameter will now appear in the Device Parameter list.

device_parameter_list-modulation.png

Then you can draw in modulation envelopes to the clip:

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Modulated parameters appear with a reddish tint on the parameter's dial. This indicates the depth of the modulation:

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In Arrangement View, a Clip must be selected for Show Modulation to appear in the context menu.

In Session View, a Clip must have been launched for Show Modulation to appear. If the Stop Slot has been triggered, Show Modulation will be greyed out. Launch a Clip to make this option available again in the context menu.